Life Lesson: Sifting

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I am not sure what has shifted, but G and I are reading everything we can get our hands on lately and that includes Instagram posts, labels, and billboards.  You just never know when or where the Divine will come from.

One of the biggest questions I ask myself regularly is, “what am I going to do?”  It can refer to anything that is happening in my life or even perhaps someone else’s life.  This question often results in my doing nothing.  I become so paralyzed about doing the “right” thing that I often, out of fear of doing the “wrong” thing, do absolutely nothing.

This week I stumbled upon Glennon Doyle’s Instagram page where she described hitting rock bottom in her marriage.  She wrote about making lists to help her move forward.  She made lists with questions about the things she knew, what she didn’t know and all the things she couldn’t answer yet.  The questions she got hung up on?  Yep, you guessed it.  “What am I going to do?”  Then she made this subtle change and it’s like a light popped on.  She began asking herself, “what am I going to do next?”  Just thinking about the next thing made all the difference to her and to me it felt more doable.  Unfortunately, the next thing I found myself doing was drinking a diet pepsi and sitting in the backyard with my dogs.  It still wasn’t the question I needed to move forward.  I kept reading.

Then at the end of her post she described standing on the beach like a child with the sand sifting through the sieve waiting for the treasure to be the only thing left.  I am not necessarily looking for treasure (although I am not opposed to it), but filtering out everything else to get to the important stuff was what I needed.  This lead me to my next question which is, “how do I sift everything else out?” What does my sieve look like?  I’d love to say mine looks like a plastic sand toy and just standing on the beach watching the sand filter out left me with my priorities, but it didn’t.

What I realized is that my sieve is getting quiet and writing.  The act of writing allows me to get the crazy banter out of my head and that, in and of itself, feels productive.  I sometimes write pages of whatever I am feeling and right in the middle of it might be a grocery list that came into my head or a blog idea that I want to save for later.  There is no rhyme or reason to how it flows. I just know that when my brain gets too full from the everyday crazy I become unproductive; stuck and in need of a nap.  It seems counterintuitive to sit and get quiet in the midst of everything that needs to be done, but if I don’t take that time I might just curl up with a load of towels and watch Netflix.

With each paragraph and page of writing that pours out of me I can feel my heart slow and my mind begin to pause.  It’s in these pauses that I find myself breathing more deeply.

The sifting is working.

Sometimes it take a few minutes, other times it takes much longer, but when the minutia of everyday has sifted out, my path looks clearer.  I no longer feel bombarded by the running commentary in my head or all things that need to be done.

This weekend spend a few minutes getting quiet and sifting through the “stuff.”  What rises to the surface when you allow everything else to fall away?

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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